We had waited a long time — about two decades since John Terry — for “one of our own”, one of our own Academy youngsters to grow into a key player for the club and lead the way in our quest for trophies.
Mason Mount, who’s been with us since before age 6, is doing just that, especially now in his second season with the first-team, and about to contest the second of three finals already in his young Chelsea senior career.
With great performances come great expectations, but the 22-year-old has been steadily living up to them — just like his role models, the famed Old Guard in the blue shirts used to.
“I want to fulfil my dreams and the dreams of the others players coming through with me. We want to win trophies. I looked at a lot of players - the legends from Chelsea - when I was at the academy and witnessed the first team winning trophies and major trophies.
“I wanted to take things from every part of their game. I wanted to follow in their footsteps. Players like Lampard, John Terry, Didier Drogba, Ashley Cole, Petr Cech... All of them really. They have won major trophies and played so many times for the club.”
Mount has taken on a lot responsibilities, and a massively important role in the way the team play with and without the ball. Most players his age would find it hard to cope with all those pressures — and also win some silverware in the process.
But that is clearly not the case for young Mason, having already overcome the previously unsurmountable hurdle of actually making the leap from the Academy to the first-team. He famously even went against parental advice, but proving in the end that his headstrong ways were the right choice.
“I try to lead and be a big player. Even though I’m young, I want to influence, win games and win trophies.
“From very young, I set the goal I wanted to make the first team and I didn’t let anything affect me. I was so driven. I didn’t let anyone tell me it wasn’t going to happen. Because I was so mentally strong, I was always telling myself I was going to do it. That has always been my focus and mentality.”
“There were a couple of times when my dad thought maybe it wasn’t going to happen for me. I just said ‘I am going to do it, give it a couple of years and see what happens’.
“I remember scoring on my debut at the Bridge last year and speaking to him afterwards and saying ‘who would have thought, eh? You didn’t think I would be here, so I proved you wrong’.
“He was like ‘yes, you did’. That was a nice feeling.”
Another challenge that had to be overcome was the perception that Mount was only getting minutes because of Frank Lampard and Jody Morris in charge. And from Derby County to Chelsea, Mount certainly played a big role for them for 2.5 seasons.
And when he was missing from Thomas Tuchel’s first ever starting lineup, many saw that as a sign of things to come.
Oh how wrong they were!
“[Tuchel] went for experience and from that moment I got my head down and wanted to show what I could do.
“When a new manager comes in you have to get used to how he plays and the transition was very easy. He tried to give everyone instructions and it really helped us as a team. He was very clear. I know what I need to do to keep getting better. I will be working hard to try to achieve big things in the game.”
Mount, who recently made his 100th senior appearance for Chelsea, is just getting started. But he, and the team, could certainly achieve some big things in the next two weeks.
“I always speak with my dad and we set targets. I am not going to tell you them but I am close to achieving it. I only have a couple of games left, so I need to step up. [...] If I win a trophy it will be for the family and the coaches I have worked with at Chelsea. It will be very special.”
-Mason Mount; source: BBC
So say we all, young one.